Last week a 21-year old Swedish man, dressed up as Darth Vader, walked into a school in a Swedish town and stabbed two young people to death.
One of the victims was a 15-year old boy who’d arrived in Sweden from war-torn Somalia only a few years ago; the other was a 20-year old teaching assistant who sacrificed his life as he shielded other children from attack.
The police later confirmed that the perpetrator had been driven by rightwing, racist convictions and had deliberately targeted non-white pupils and staff.
That evening, as I said goodnight to my young daughters, who are a beautiful mixture of their Swedish mother and Caribbean father, I felt desperately sad, angry, and afraid.
Sad for the families who’ve lost their sons and brothers to a senseless, racially motivated, hate crime.
Angry and despairing that in 2015, people are still being judged, discriminated against and murdered because of the colour of their skin, their ethnic identity or religious beliefs.
Afraid of the rising xenophobia that is apparent not only in Sweden but across Europe, where one government after another takes measures to close their country’s borders to thousands of refugees desperately seeking a safe haven.
Moments like this serve as a stark reminder that I have a responsibility to teach my children that every single human being who’s walked this earth is born whole.